Insights: The Science of Lasting Happiness; April 2007; Scientific American Magazine; by Marina Krakovsky; 2 Page(s)
The day I meet Sonja Lyubomirsky, she keeps getting calls from her Toyota Prius dealer. When she finally picks up, she is excited by the news: she can buy the car she wants in two days. Lyubomirsky wonders if her enthusiasm might come across as materialism, but I understand that she is buying an experience as much as a possession. The hybrid will be gentler on the environment, and a California state law letting some hybrids use the carpool lane promises a faster commute between her coastal Santa Monica home and her job at the University of California, Riverside, some 70 miles inland.
Two weeks later, in late January, the 40-year-old Lyubomirsky, who smiles often and seems to approach life with zest and good humor, reports that she is "totally loving the Prius." But will the feeling wear off soon after the new-car smell, or will it last, making a naturally happy person even more so?